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The first candidate to throw his name into the ring for the newly-created 53rd district of the Kentucky House of Representatives is Spencer County’s own James Allen Tipton.
Tipton announced on Monday that he filed a letter of intent with the Kentucky Register of Election Finance to run for state representative.
Candidates can’t officially file to run for office until November, but those who hope to get a head start on fundraising can file a letter of intent to move forward in setting up their campaign account.
Tipton, a farmer and real estate broker, will seek the Republican nomination for the 53rd district in the May 2014 primary election. The 53rd House District was recently formed as a result of redistricting and consists of all of Anderson County, all of Spencer County and two precincts in northeastern Bullitt County.
Tipton told The Spencer Magnet he considered running for judge-executive in Spencer County in the 2014 election, but thought he was being led in a different direction.
“I thought about this, prayed about this and talked to a lot of people,” Tipton said Monday afternoon. “This is what I was being led to do. It’s an awesome opportunity.”
Tipton said he has friends and acquaintances not only in Spencer County, but in Anderson County and in the Bullitt County precincts and looks forward to having the opportunity to serve all of those communities.
Tipton is a 1977 graduate of Taylorsville High School and received a Bachelor of Science in agriculture in 1981 and a master’s in vocational education in 1985 from the University of Kentucky. After college, Tipton came back home to partner with his father, Owen Tipton, on the family dairy farm. Tipton and his family continue that tradition today with a 40 head cow/calf beef operation. Tipton has been a licensed real estate agent since 1999.
He has been active on multiple boards and community organizations. He is currently a member of the Kentucky Association of Realtors Professional Standards Committee, board member of Cornerstone Christian Academy, treasurer of Spencer County Farm Bureau and vice-chairman of the Spencer County Board of Adjustments.
Tipton previously served on the Kentucky Farm Bureau Resolutions Committee and said that experience contributed to his background in policy.
As part of the resolutions committee, Tipton said he helped review about 1,000 resolutions per year to come up with ideas and suggestions to present to the Farm Bureau delegates. Once voted on, those resolutions became Farm Bureau policy.
Tipton said, based on his research, the last time Spencer County was home to a state representative was in 1973 during the third and final term of Stuart Kelly.
“Forty years is long enough for Spencer County not to have a representative in the legislature,” Tipton said. “I can do a lot for the county and the community.”
Spencer County Republican Party Chair Steve Hesselbrock said he’s glad to see Tipton step up to the plate.
“I’m really glad to see a Spencer Countian step up and run for this leadership position,” Hesselbrock said, adding that this is the first time in many years that Spencer County will be represented by one representative — the county has previously been split into three districts.
“[Tipton] is a person of integrity and he’s knowledgeable concerning issues in the 53rd district, which is our district, as well as across the commonwealth,” Hesselbrock said. “He would represent all of the constituents equally.”
When the legislature passed the new legislative districts last month, Tipton said he had several people approach him about running for office.
“I reached out to friends in the district and around the state and, overwhelmingly, there was so much positive encouragement and support,” Tipton said. “I’ve had a lot of people praying over this with me, and I just think the Lord is laying this on my heart to do.”
According to a news release, Tipton believes Kentuckians deserve more accountability from state government, and believes in reducing wasteful spending and unnecessary programs to make more funds available to invest in education.
He said small businesses are the engine of the state’s economy and excessive taxation and unnecessary regulations have slowed economic growth.
Tipton is 100 percent pro-life and said he would be a staunch supporter of second amendment rights.
Tipton is a member of Briar Ridge Christian Church. He and his wife, the former Martha Ruble, along with their three children, Joshua, Jacob and Sarah, reside in the Little Mount community.